Catching up: Flu, holiday and racism.

 

I didn’t make it to book club because my dreaded cold returned thanks to the boyfriend. This time I decided to take a break.

Let’s rewind to my last holiday of the year Turkey it was a gorgeous resort Marty Myra near Kemer. The sun rose early in the morning and radiated its heat. I felt full of promises of relaxation and indulging in delicious cuisine and sample a few beverages. The first night was a blur mix of heat and alcohol took affect I danced the night away in the local bar. This euphoric excitement turned into daytime motion sickness and increased need to lay down. I felt guilty for spending the majority of the day in hibernation. The holiday revealed something else for a woman of colour. I encountered stares wonderment and disgust from other residents. These stares made me feel as though I was not meant to exist. Comment made by a resort worker comparing me to chocolate ice cream. It was a trivial in comparison to other comments people have made in the past but it did make me think would he have said this to a Caucasian woman? Why did he feel the need to point out my colour as if I had forgotten I was a black woman. Asking my partner whom is Caucasian if we were a couple. It raise the question whether people truly understand what it is like to be a person of colour. From this experience I think not. Comments about race and staring can make someone feel as though it is them or us. I prefer to answer questions about my race rather than being made to feel different. My experience introduced thoughts about racism and mental health how these experiences can lead to paranoia and mental health difficulties within ethnic minority communities. Fortunately I am secure in myself and my dark brown skin. I did wonder why it is an issue for other people. That I exist. The issue of colourism arose and I asked myself if I had lighter skin would I have received as many looks? Colourism has always been an issue amongst the black community and I had allowed other people fill my mind with the message light skin is beautiful. What help me to accept myself was using self care practices. I read stories about dark skin women, educated myself about colourism as well as race and mental health. When I felt less than I worked out to feel physically strong and took pride in my appearance. It made me understand I am more than the labels society placed on me and clear about my identity. I adopted the same self care principles on holiday. I made a commitment to relax and make the most of the sights on the resort. I played sport and woke up early. It was amazing I found a spot on the beach to set up camp and escape with a book. Listened to inspirational podcasts and had enriching discussions with my partner. Once I started to take a moment and with the sound of the sea and felt the warmth of the sun it made me feel connected to nature. Being receptive led to inspiration for future projects and develop ideas on how I can help others to love themselves despite what beauty trends social media churns out. The social media absence stopped the brainwashing of wanting. I felt content.

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